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Tsipras, Merkel, Hollande met in Brussels: source

Alexis Tsipras SyrizaGreek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras held talks Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande on the sidelines of a European summit, sources said.

The meeting, confirmed by a Greek government source, was aimed at resolving tensions between Athens and its international creditors, as negotiators race to avoid a potentially disastrous Greek default and euro exit.

The leaders reviewed “the situation before the resumption (of the summit) at 11:00 (0900 GMT), so it was not intended to last very long,” a separate French government source added.

Greece’s latest reform and bailout talks failed Thursday to reach a deal, just days ahead of a major debt deadline for Athens.

Marathon meetings in Brussels between Tsipras and the heads of the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary fund ended with no agreement.

Merkel and Hollande have already stated that an upcoming gathering of eurozone finance ministers on Saturday would be decisive for finding a debt deal for Greece.

That Eurogroup meeting will be the group’s fifth in less than ten days.

Negotiators are aiming to finalise a deal ahead of a critical June 30 payment deadline for a 1.5 billion euro ($1.7 billion) IMF loan repayment.

Creditors are however refusing to unlock 7.2 billion euros in bailout funds unless Greece accepts new reforms.

Separately on Friday, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis told Irish radio that Athens was being put before a “clearly unviable” agreement by its EU-IMF creditors — but remains committed to staying in the eurozone.

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